Flash Fiction Friday: Our Brautigans
by Dustin Reade
In a way we are all Richard Brautigan. We are happy that we have a mustache, and we stroke it sometimes by the pond. In the water we see a few fish. They are trout. We like to stroke our mustache when we look at the trout in the pond.
When we put on our hat and walk around town, we like it when people ask, “My! Where did you get that lovely hat?”
“The Hat Store,” we say.
“Well I shall have to go there someday and get one just like it,” they say.
We stroke our mustache and go home and just sit there for a while being Richard Brautigan. We think about the fish down in the pond and wait for 1984, when our suicide will be done in watermelon sugar.
It rains for a few hours while we are in bed. After a moment the rain stops. The woman in our bed asks, “What’s that sound?”
“The rain,” we say.
When the sun comes up we go into the den. The whole room is wood and we like the smell of the wood and the rain outside. We stroke our mustache and let the smell remember another time for us. Our memory is not so great anymore but the wood and the rain take us back to 1942 when we first learned about trout fishing from our step-father. We watch as he ties flies and takes us to the pond where we pluck trout from the water and put them in a basket to eat later. We are excited to taste the trout at home. That old house with the muddy walkway and the muddy roads and the mailbox full of welfare checks.
We want to stay in the memory longer but the sun dries up the rain. Then the door swings open and Death is standing there holding a shotgun.
It is 1984 and it is time to go and stop being Richard Brautigan for a while.
Dustin Reade lives within walking distance of a Wal-Mart and a Costco. His writings can be found in various anthologies, and read online at The New Flesh, Three-Minute Plastic, and Bizarro Central. His is also the Head-Editor at The Mustache Factor, an online magazine of unusual fiction. He can feel it when you Google him.